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Meet the Trumbull GOP Candidates

Republican candidates for Trumbull and for Jim Himes' congressional seat talked with Trumbull's conservative "Ladies for Liberty" group.

One works with cell tower technology; another owns a restaurant chain; and the third is a realtor.

The goal: they all want to make Connecticut a more business-friendly place. The three met with constituents of Trumbull's "Ladies for Liberty" at the .

Steve Obsitnik, who is running against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, opened the forum with a story about his grandfather, a German immigrant with a limited education.

"He struggled," Obsitnik said. Several of his businesses failed before he started a machine shop that later earned him an award from President Ronald Reagan. Obsitnik followed in his father's footsteps and started his own business after leaving the U.S. Navy.

He called the contest with Jim Himes "salesmanship v. leadership."

"I care about people. I care about our district," Obsitnik said. "This is going to be a challenging race."

"The biggest asset we have is finding a way for corporations" to invest their money right now, Obsitnik continued.

One way to do that is making companies and government run more efficiently.

He also stressed the importance of education, noting that many of the women in his family were or are teachers.

First Selectman Tim Herbst called Obsitnik "a proven job creator."

"He's a good man. He will do a good job," Herbst said.

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Chadwick Ciocci and David Rutigliano

Herbst said Rutigliano has practical business experience.

"He understands the ramifications of [regulations] and how they affect businessowners," Herbst said.

One problem is hiring young people is more expensive, said Rutigliano, who owns the SBC restaurant chain. A seventh is slated for Norwalk. He's vying for T.R. Rowe's seat in the state House of Representatives.

"It's become more and more expensive to take a shot on a young person," said Rutigliano.

The cost to train is too much, so hiring more experienced people saves money, he said.

Regarding state spending, Rutigliano said, "For every one dollar we send to Washington, we get back 66 cents."

He also noted that for every Connecticut state employee, there are seven citizens. In California, there is one state employee for every 175 citizens.

The restaurateur further called for Malloy to use General Accounting Principles to run the state.

One of the candidates also cited that Connecticut is number one in the loss of 18- to 34-year-olds, and new private sector jobs have not been created in 20 years.

Ciocci, a five-term Town Councilman eyeing state Sen. Anthony Musto's seat, vowed to try to repeal the "Musto-Malloy tax increase," and criticized the state leaders for confusion on whether there is a budget deficit or a surplus.

"In Connecticut, two plus two no longer equals four. I think enough is enough," he said.

He said cutting spending "is not hard," and job creation must be the number one priority.

Ciocci propsed some ideas. High School students eligible to graduate in three years receive half of their education cost and put it toward post graduate work, from college to other roads.

Secondly, he proposed electing the Siting Council, citing the recent approval of a taller cell tower for .

MAC June 20, 2012 at 06:48 PM
CT state government is certainly too big for the size of our population, exemplified by the large number in our legislature, 36 senators and 151 house members, vis a vis CA, which is composed of a Senate consisting of 40 State Senators and an Assembly of 80 members. Although our legislature is part-time, we also pay salaries and benefits for Full-time staff for the members. And Richard, you are so fixated on education that you refuse to accept the fact that departments like Education and Agriculture are "un-Constitutional" for our federal government!! And I was referring to federal government as a whole when I wrote that "of TAXPAYER money sent to Washington, 20-30 % of those $$ are consumed by government bureaucracy, before they turn around and redistribute the remainder to states, where more is consumed by bloated governments as in Hartford!" Regarding the "un-Constitutional" dept. of Ed., it has 4,200 employees, and their salaries, benefits and bureaucratic expenses are not included in the specious 'numbers' you cite as returning "99 cents on the dollar"!!
louis June 20, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Its not quantity that matters, ladies of liberty, but quality. We sadly, confined by our own partisan ideology miss that point, accordingly, we receive neither quality. If you want someone to work for you, someone with conservative values, LOL....vote for me!
Tom Kelly June 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM
MAC, you are comparing CT unfavorably to California legislators? Ours our part-time, and earn somewhere in the range of $30,000 per year. California state legislators have a salary of over $95,000 per year, and most accept a tax free per diem reimbursement for expenses of over $30,000 per year. The Tea Party is able to get traction right now because of the difficult economic environment, but their message will never be one that gains long standing appeal because it is not a positive vision for the future. It's based on scaring people and appealing to their anger. And for many (not all) Tea Partiers, the fiscal agenda is just a means to the real end, which are the issues most important to many (not all) Tea Partiers. That is the social agenda, including attacking women's rights and same-sex marriage, and removing all limits on gun ownership or carriage laws.
MAC June 22, 2012 at 07:37 PM
No, Tom, CT (DEM) legislators are taking our economy towards bankruptcy, following the "progressive" example of states such as CA. Not only should they remain pt, but there should be LESS of them, especially since most CT voters seem to blindly vote for anyone with a (D) after his/her name! Not only do CA legislators typically travel hundreds and hundreds of miles to get to Sacramento, but those 120 legislators "represent" almost 38 MILLION people, while 187 CT legislators have only 3,580,000 to "represent." I am looking at things from the perspective of "We the People"!! Whereas your view seems to be that the bigger the government the better, because THEY have the solutions to most every problem, and that state and federal spending can never be too high! Then there is the matter of intrusive and wrong-headed REGULATIONS (as well as over-taxation) by states such as CA and CT, and by Obama, PUNISHING the business and job creators!
MAC June 22, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Tom, you have some kind of bitter 'bee in your bonnet,' and could not be more wrong in your assessment of "The Tea Party." 1. It has "traction" because the "Silent Majority" of common sense Americans, who recognize that that government is best which governs least, have woken up!! They have awakened to the fact that incompetent "career politicians" have treated voters and the economy like collateral damage!! While "tea party" folks (responsible citizens of BOTH parties) were busy working, raising families, paying their taxes and TRUSTING elected congress people and state legislators to DO THEIR JOBS, these incompetent "career politicians" were mainly concerned only with getting re-elected, instead of doing what is best for the nation's and ALL Americans' futures. 2. The "Tea Party" has a VERY "positive vision," which is "based on" the notion that Americans are hard-working, innovative GOOD people, who un-punished or unrestrained by an overweening, over-regulating, over-taxing government will solve any problem--although it is not going to be easy! It is DEMS, and phony RINOs who believe that GOVERNMENT has the answers, and that "the People" are too stupid to manage their own lives, their towns, their schools, families and businesses without interference by the state and federal governments.

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